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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ AstronomyView Options:  |  |  |   

Astronomy on Ancient Coins

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.

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The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina is an ancient Roman temple in Rome, adapted as a Roman Catholic church, Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Miranda. It is in the Forum Romanum, on the Via Sacra, opposite the Regia. The temple was begun by Antoninus Pius in 141 and was initially dedicated to his deceased and deified wife, Faustina the Elder. When Antoninus Pius was deified after his death in 161 AD, the temple was re-dedicated jointly to Antoninus and Faustina at the instigation of his successor, Marcus Aurelius. The ten monolithic Corinthian columns of its pronaos are 17 metres high. The rich bas-reliefs of the frieze under the cornice, of garlanded griffons and candelabri, were often copied from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. San Lorenzo in Miranda
RB87194. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 746a, Cohen II 464, Hunter II 211, BMCRE IV 1641, SRCV II 4185, VF, well centered, excellent portrait, attractive reverse style, turning marks, light corrosion, porous, weight 25.180 g, maximum diameter 34.07 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 140 - 144 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right; reverse Italia seated left on celestial globe, wearing turreted crown, holding cornucopia before her in right hand, short scepter in left hand and cradled in left arm, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, ITALIA in exergue; $600.00 (510.00)


Kyrene, Kyrenaica, North Africa, Ptolemaic Rule, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

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Magas was the stepson of Ptolemy I, the son of Berenice I, and half-brother to Ptolemy II. In 276 B.C., he crowned himself King in Kyrene, married the daughter of Antiochos I and invaded Egypt with his Seleukid allies. The Seleukid army was defeated by Ptolemy II and Magas faced an internal revolt of Libyan nomads. Still, Kyrene remained independent as long as he lived.
GS75115. Silver hemiobol, BMC Cyrenaica pl. XXV, 8 (plates only, missing from text); Mller Afrique -; SNG Cop -; SNG Milan -, gVF, toned, scratches, weight 0.419 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, Magas, as Ptolemaic governor, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed male head right; reverse star of eight narrow rays around central pellet; ex Roma Numismatics E-sale 17 (April 2015), lot 375; extremely rare; $195.00 (165.75)


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find.
GB83691. Bronze AE 14, Unpublished in standard references, six examples known to Forum, VF, earthen deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 2.216 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $180.00 (153.00)


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find.
SH71047. Bronze AE 14, Unpublished in standard refs, six specimens known to Forum, F, cleaning scratches, weight 2.121 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $140.00 (119.00)


Kingdom of Commagene, Epiphanes and Callinicus, 72 A.D.

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In 72 A.D., only two years after Antiochus IV, King of Commagene, sent troops, commanded by his son Epiphanes, to aid Titus in the siege of Jerusalem, he was accused by the governor of Syria of conspiring with Parthia against Rome. After a reign of thirty-four years from his first appointment by Caligula, Antiochus was deprived of his kingdom. He retired first to Sparta, and then to Rome, where he passed the remainder of his life and was treated with great respect. Antiochus' sons, Epiphanes and Callinicus briefly ruled the kingdom but after an encounter with Roman troops, fled to Parthia. They later joined their father in Rome.
SH90336. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 3861; BMC Galatia p. 110, 1 ff.; De Luynes 3440; SGICV 5515, F, dark patina, red earthen deposits, weight 7.954 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 45o, Samosata (Samsat, Turkey) mint, 72 A.D.; obverse Epiphanes and Callinicus riding left on horseback, each wearing chlamys, BACIΛEΩC / YIOI in exergue; reverse KOMMAΓHNΩN, Capricorn right, star above, anchor flukes left below, all within laurel wreath, border of dots; ex John Jencek; $125.00 (106.25)


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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This is apparently a recently discovered new type. All the known examples might be from a single find.
SH90651. Bronze AE 13, Unpublished in standard references, six examples known to Forum, VF, green patina, earthen encrustation, light scratches, reverse off-center, weight 2.431 g, maximum diameter 12.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Pontic mint, c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse star of six rays and center pellet superimposed on pileus; reverse star of eight rays and central pellet; extremely rare; $115.00 (97.75)


Cales, Campania, Italy, c. 265 - 240 B.C.

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The Romans captured Cales in 335 B.C. and established a colony in 334 with Latin rights of 2,500 citizens. It was an important base in the war against Hannibal. Before 184 B.C. more settlers were sent there. After the Social War it became a municipium. Its fertile territory and manufacture of black glazed pottery, which was even exported to Etruria, made it prosperous. Inscriptions name six gates of the town: and there are considerable remains of antiquity, especially of an amphitheater and theater, of a supposed temple, a Roman necropolis, and other edifices.
GB73620. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 309; HN Italy 436, SNG ANS 183, cf. BMC Italy p. 79, 23 (star of eight rays vice O below), F, green patina, tight flan, weight 6.161 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 225o, Cales (Calvi Risorta, Italy) mint, c. 265 - 240 B.C.; obverse CALENO, laureate head of Apollo left, star behind; reverse man-faced bull right, star of sixteen rays above, Θ (or O?) below, CALENO in exergue; $95.00 (80.75)


Pontos, 130 - 100 B.C.

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An enigmatic and very rare coin with unusual curious types.
GB84563. Bronze AE 12, SNG BM 984; SNG Stancomb 653; Lindgren III 154; HGC 7 317, VF, small flan, slightly off center, green patina with buff earthen highlighting, weight 1.623 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, Pontos, uncertain mint, 130 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with star of eight points and central pellet on neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and tail to right; ex Agora Auctions sale, lot 25; very rare; $95.00 (80.75)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
RS76202. Silver denarius, RIC IV 111, RSC IV 39, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, toned, porous, light marks, weight 3.115 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan 241 - Jul 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse AETERNITATI AVG, Sol standing slightly right, radiate head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand; $80.00 (68.00)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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The Roman's believed Jupiter, as the king of the gods, favored those in positions of authority similar to his own. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. This unusual reverse legend dedicates this coin to Jupiter defender of the health of the Emperor. The seven stars on the reverse may refer to the seventh centenary (700 year anniversary) of the founding of Jupiter's great Capitoline temple.
RS85045. Silver denarius, RIC III 256 (R), RSC II 245, BMCRE IV 349, SRCV II 5651, Hunter II - (clviii), F, centered on a tight flan, toned, marks and scratches, edge cracks, weight 2.482 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 191 - 192 A.D.; obverse L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, laureate head right; reverse IOVI DEFENS SALVTIS AVG, Jupiter moving left, looking back right, brandishing thunderbolt overhead in right hand, scepter in left hand, drapery at waist flying behind, seven stars around; rare; $55.00 (46.75)




  



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Catalog current as of Saturday, October 20, 2018.
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Astronomy